Preparing your logistics business for special sale seasons
The fourth quarter has always been the busiest time for eCommerce and logistics players across Southeast Asia. This year brings an added responsibility of making up for the losses incurred by the crisis; necessitating actors to keep up with latest trends and be prepared for the sale season.
Post-pandemic eCommerce at a glance
The biggest consequence that the pandemic triggered was the growth of eCommerce sales. In an independent survey by Bain and Company, 30% of consumers increased their online spending and plan to continue to do so.
In effect, the pandemic did not just improve accessibility to online shopping but it compelled a major proportion of offline shoppers to embrace eCommerce. As a result, all the eCommerce players are expecting logistics companies to focus on improving lead timelines and delivery frequency.
Due to these trends, your logistics business needs to have a competitive advantage during the upcoming special sales seasons such as 11.11, 12.12 & Christmas.
1. Leverage automation
For the upcoming sales season, you need to step-up your fulfillment services and keep up with increasing demand from brands, retailers and distributors.
Therefore, you need to focus all your efforts on improving delivery lead time and end-to-end services as well. Having seamless and automated operations can offer a game-changing advantage to enable efficient and error-free fulfillment.
2. Prepare to manage order surges
As the order season peaks up, your customers get more demanding in terms of flexible and smooth fulfillment. To complicate matters more, you need to deal with all types of orders like split orders, return orders, offer bundle orders etc. and you can easily lose track of these orders and fail to fulfill them on time.
Additionally, the problem of out-of-stock orders will also be on the rise. As a result, brands and retailers will try to rush in more stocks to your facilities, thus extending more strain on your holding and inventory efforts. You need to be well-prepared to service such demands efficiently.
3. Collaborate with other 3PL partners
Collaborating with various 3PL partners for specific stages can help you manage your operations with flexibility and reliability. You can therefore optimize end-to-end supply chain operations effectively without hampering your quality of service or hiring extra work force for the special sales season.
4. Ensure communication with customers
Fulfilling merchandise or shipping the products in a timely manner is what your customers want; and the next thing that they expect is consistent communication and delivery status updates. Without the information at hand, it can get chaotic quickly and customers may lose track of all the orders.
5. Invest in the right technology
With surge orders during the promotion period and social distancing requirements compelling companies to operate with a smaller workforce, it is essentially important for you to adopt the right technological solution.
There are a finite number of systems that can claim to be reliable and scalable at the same time. Therefore, it is imperative for your logistics and fulfillment services to quickly transition into a comprehensive ecosystem that can reduce your turnaround time phenomenally.
Accordingly, a full-suite e-Warehouse Management System can enable:
Inventory intelligence: Complete control and visibility across inventory and warehouse processes.
Customizable workflows: Align specific business needs with common workflows to achieve better performance.
Powerful integrations: Instantly connect with marketplaces, web stores and accounting tools with readily available integrations for seamless operations.
Real-time Customizable Reports: Inspect function-specific reports for orders, shipment carriers, return order processing all the while enabling customized reports as per user preference.
User-specific Operations: Leverage specific functions depending on the user roles to improve the operations team’s productivity.
In addition to these intuitive features, you should also focus on the ability to orchestrate all your business functions seamlessly into the system without affecting your day-to-day operations.
Only then would you be prepared for what’s in store for you in the upcoming sales season. So you need to weigh the convenience, speed, and efficiency of such systems and make an informed decision.
3PL companies that view the pandemic as a catalyst for change and an opportunity to get closer to their customers will maintain their footing and grow stronger. Companies that fail to keep up with logistics trends especially now in the last quarter, risk losing competitive advantage and falling out of favor with customers.